Why Red Hat Is Sinking Despite a Solid Q1

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Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT) released its fiscal first-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Friday. The company posted $0.72 in earnings per share (EPS) and $813.5 million in revenue, compared with consensus estimates that called for $0.68 in EPS on revenue of $807.3 million. In the same period of last year, the open-source software provider said it had EPS of $0.58 and $676.8 million in revenue.

During the quarter, subscription revenue increased 19% year over year to $712 million, or 16% measured in constant currency. Subscription revenue in the quarter was 87% of total revenue.

At the end of the first quarter, the company’s total deferred revenue balance saw an increase of 19% to $2.4 billion, or an increase of 18% in constant currency.

Separately, the board of directors authorized the repurchase of up to $1 billion of the company’s common stock, which will replace Red Hat’s previous repurchase plan set to expire at the end of June.

Looking ahead to the fiscal second quarter, the company expects to see EPS of $0.81 and revenue in the range of $822 million to $830 million. The consensus estimates call for $0.89 in EPS and $854.95 million in revenue for the quarter.

Jim Whitehurst, president and CEO of Red Hat, commented:

The move to hybrid cloud architecture continues to be a strategic priority for our customers. We again delivered strong revenue growth in Q1 as customers continued to adopt our cloud enabling technologies for their applications. For instance, we are driving strong growth in both subscription and services revenues for our OpenShift technologies as more customers modernize their applications in Linux containers for their hybrid cloud and digital transformation initiatives.

Shares of Red Hat closed Thursday at $165.73, with a consensus analyst price target of $171.77 and a 52-week trading range of $94.47 to $177.70. Following the announcement, the stock was down about 14% at $142.49 in early trading indications Friday.